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Manatee Dental At College Plaza
3633 Cortez Road W, Suite A1, Bradenton, FL 34210

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Has the Pandemic Cracked Your Teeth?

A surprising result of the coronavirus shutdown has been an increase in the incidence of cracked teeth, according to The New York Times. There’s also been an increase in the incidence of bruxism as more people work from home. Bruxism can contribute to a lack of sleep and poor posture as well as damage to your teeth and jaws.

If you’re looking for a solution to a new teeth grinding or jaw clenching problem that has come up since the pandemic started, read on for some more information. However, consider visiting your dentist sooner rather than later to prevent permanent damage to your teeth.

What Type of Disorder Is Bruxism?

Researchers aren’t certain of the cause of bruxism, but they speculate that it can be a combination of genetic, physical and psychological components that manifest as clenching the jaw and grinding the teeth. A dentist can provide solutions to the symptoms and side effects, but there is, at present, no effective cure for the condition. Usually, children grow out of it, but in adults, it can be a temporary or a permanent condition.

Can Daytime Bruxism Be Prevented?

There are several triggers for the onset of bruxism, such as:

  • Age: Many of those who have bruxism are children under the age of 6.
  • Health Conditions: An increased incidence of bruxism has been linked to ADHD, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease and sleep apnea.
  • Emotional Makeup: Individuals who are aggressive, competitive or hyperactive have a higher incidence of bruxism.
  • Substances and Medications: Alcohol, caffeine, tobacco and some prescription medications can trigger bruxism.

Can My Dentist Help With Bruxism?

Your dentist can recommend diet and lifestyle changes that can reduce the onset of bruxism, and they can also provide you with a custom-fitted night guard that will reduce the damaging side effects of bruxism. Some changes that your dentist may recommend include:

  • Quit smoking, or at least don’t smoke before bedtime
  • Reduce alcohol and caffeine consumption
  • Adopt a regimen of relaxation before bedtime, such as meditating, taking a walk or warm bath, or listing to soothing music

How Will a Night Guard Prevent Bruxism?

A night guard won’t prevent bruxism, but it can reduce the harmful side effects of both bruxism and TMJ. If you need a custom-fitted night guard, then call our office for an appointment.

How Does a Nighttime Night Guard Help?

When you’re asleep and can’t make the conscious effort not to clench your jaws or grind your teeth, then a night guard can protect your teeth from the damage incurred from bruxism. When you have a custom-fitted night guard, then it will be tailored to the contours of your teeth and gums and will provide the maximum protection possible. Since it’s specifically contoured to your mouth and gums, it won’t fall out during the night.

What Kind of Disease Is TMJ Syndrome?

TMJ syndrome isn’t actually a disease. It’s a disorder that affects the joint that attaches your jaw to your skull. The medical name of the joint is the temporomandibular joint, thus the name of the disorder. TMJ syndrome can be a side effect of bruxism, or it can occur independently as a result of trauma to the face, but the symptoms and side effects are very similar. If you experience any of the following, you may have TMJ issues:

  • A clicking or popping sound when you open or close your mouth
    Jaw that’s stuck in one position
  • Sensitivity or pain in your ear, face, jaw, neck, or shoulders
  • Problems when chewing or opening your mouth
  • Sudden pain when when you bite down
  • Unilateral facial swelling

How Does a Night Guard Prevent TMJ?

A custom-fitted night guard is convenient and affordable and a non-invasive method for treating TMJ problems. By aligning your upper and lower jaw in their proper position, wearing a night guard means you’ll experience far fewer headaches, less jaw pain and fewer adverse effects of TMJ overall.

Will a Night Guard Prevent Jaw Clenching?

If you ignore the symptoms of bruxism, then you can severely damage your teeth and any dental restoration work that you have. Bruxism can cause the loss of up to 2mm of tooth enamel in a few years as well as destroy bridges and caps. It’s also responsible for an increase in tooth decay and the need for root canals, so a custom-fitted night guard is well worth the expense. Since your dental insurance may pay for most or all of the cost of a night guard, it’s a very cost-effective solution to jaw clenching.

Who Provides Custom Night Guards?

If you’re interested in a custom-fitted night guard, then contact our office for an appointment. Getting fitted for a custom-fitted night guard is a very simple procedure, and it’s painless. Your dentist will make an impression of your teeth and gums, and then we’ll send the mold to the lab for fabrication. When we receive it from them, you’ll return to have your custom-fitted night guard adjusted for fit and comfort, and then you’ll be done. When you come into our office for an appointment, we’ll apprise you of the cost of your mouth guard, but quite often, it will be covered by insurance.

What’s the Cost of Custom Bruxism Night Guards?

Your cost for a custom-fitted night guard will be unique to you. It will be determined by the appliance you select, the materials needed for fabrication, and your insurance coverage. Often, insurance plans pay for most or all of the cost of a night guard that’s deemed medically necessary. Custom-fitted mouth guards are more comfortable than over-the-counter models, they last longer, and they’re more effective because they’re customized to the contours of your teeth and gums.

If you need a night guard, then call our office for an appointment. We do our utmost to ensure that our patients are comfortable and relaxed, so don’t stress about your appointment. Call Manatee Dental At College Plaza today at (941) 584-4356 and let us help you with your bruxism or TMJ issues.

We look forward to speaking with you and working with you.

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3633 Cortez Road W, Suite A1, Bradenton, FL 34210

(941) 584-4356